I tend to get bored with breakfasts, usually because I make the same thing every weekday morning for months at a time. Two years ago, it was smoothies. Every morning I’d throw some protein powder, yogurt, banana, frozen berries and soymilk into a blender. But cleaning that blender turned out to be more than I cared to handle in the morning. I moved on to cereal, but soon grew tired of that. Then it was oatmeal, which I ate every day until I could hardly bear to look at it. Now, I’m back on cereal. This time, with fresh berries and soymilk. Who knows how long it’ll last.
So when I saw these beautiful little muffins that contain hardly more sugar and fat than the cereal I usually eat, I couldn’t resist. I made the first batch with dried apricots and toasted walnuts. They were super delicious, filling and nutritious. AND I could make them start to finish in under 20 minutes. Not that I’ll be baking every morning, but they can certainly be made on a quiet weeknight or on Sunday afternoon. Anyhow, I’ve made them 3 times in the last 3 weeks. The little muffins break up the monotony of the cereal bowl and make me feel like I’m getting a treat mid-week.
Little Bran Muffins
Adapted from 101cookbooks.com, which was adapted from Bran Muffin recipe in The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook published 1971.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 cups toasted wheat bran
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons raw natural cane sugar
2 cups full fat yogurt*
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey, preferably a light honey such as clover
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup of add-ins of your choice – raisins, chopped dried fruit, nuts, etc (optional)**
Preheat oven to 425F degrees, racks in the middle.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, wheat bran, salt, baking soda and sugar.
Beat together the yogurt, egg, honey, and butter in a second larger bowl. Add the dry ingredients and fold in until everything comes together. Fold in any optional add-ins, raisins, nuts, and the like. Resist overmixing.
Either grease a mini-muffin tin with butter or line the tin with small muffin papers. Fill each 3/4 full. Bake 10 -15 minutes, until muffins are golden on top and cooked through. You can also make larger muffins in a standard size muffin pan with this batter, you just need to bake them about 5 minutes longer.
*Adding flavored yogurts enhances the mix-in’s flavor as well. For example, to make super-blueberry muffins, use blueberry yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farms Whole Milk Wild Blueberry) and mix in dried or fresh blueberries.
**I’ve used 1/2 cup walnuts & 1/2 cup dried fruit every time. Twice, I used dried apricots, and once I used dried cranberries. Both were delicious, though I must say that I’m partial to the berry muffins.